Saturday, June 12, 2010

Looking for Dr. Jose Rizal in Barcelona

Believe Me

Or Not!

A five-minute immersion exercise in Philippine History

By

Jose Sison Luzadas, KGOR

Scarborough Chapter

CANADA


FEATURED SUBJECT:


Looking for Dr. Jose Rizal in Barcelona


Photo was taken when the writer was in Barcelona, Spain. The book visibly seen is the award-winning Rizal biography "THE FIRST FILIPINO" by Leon Ma. Guerrero. Is itt not interesting if not amusing to know why Writer/historian, Nick Joaquin called Rizal a “Wandering Jew” while other writers considered him as the “first” OFW?


Incidentally, the city of Barcelona is where Rizal wrote his first literary work in Spain, titled "Amor Patrio" (love of country). It appeared in "Diarong Tagalog", then Manila's daily using a pseudonym, "LAONG LAAN”. When he moved to Madrid and joined the Freemasonry, Rizal chose "MAY PAGASA". But as correspondent for La Solidaridad, he is known by his nom de plume or pen name,”DIMASALANG


The last time Rizal was in Barcelona was when he was detained in a Barcelona jail on his way to Cuba to volunteer his medical services to the Spanish army during the Cuban Revolution on suspicion that he is the mastermind of the disturbances in Manila and the suburbs led by Bonifacio and his Katipuneros. Few days later, he was escorted to the Philippines to face criminal charges.


TODAY, there are people who still look at Rizal more and more of an ENIGMA and doubt being a hero. If Rizal is a true patriot they argued, why did he volunteer his services to the enemy? Why did he call Bonifacio’s revolution that was causing disturbances in Manila and suburban towns “absurd”?


The ghost of Simoun and Elias While he was aboard the ship bound for Cuba, a man disguised like a sailor asked Rizal to jump off ship with him where a waiting rescue mission sent by Supremo Andres Bonifacio will pick them up for safety in the territorial waters of British Hong Kong. Rizal refused.


The man in sailor’s uniform was Emilio Jacinto, right-hand man of the Supremo who later became the “Brain of the Katipunanan”. Why did Rizal spurn such rare opportunity? Was there any promise by the Spanish officials in exchange for services volunteered, like dropping all the charges filed against him? If there is nothing but enigma, then why do we call Rizal a hero, a martyr to the cause?


Conceived and never hatched! Nick Joaquin thinks that the Philippine Revolution” was made in Spain. Rizal’s fellow “Ilustrados in Europe and the local Ilustrados in the Philippines like Aguinaldo and Mabini have devised a blue print for power and governance once the Spaniards are out in the Philippines. Among others the friar estates will be confiscated and subdivided. There will be a representative form of democratic government to be setup where two political parties take turns running the government apparatus.


Naisahan sila ni Andres! The Ilustrados were caught flatfooted and their planned revolution was sidetracked when a bodeguero from Trozo, Tondo led the revolt of the masses. UP professor Teodoro Agoncillo wrote a book about Andres Bonifacio and his militant organization of proletarian origin titled “THE REVOLT OF THE MASSES”.


Fear, Fear, Fear With the poor, uneducated peasants stealing the show from the Ilustrados in Pugad Lawin and in the hills of Balara, the Ilustrados were reluctant to join that in the words of Agoncillo, “only Bonifacio can speak the language of the masses”. There was a growing fear among land owning Ilustrados that a socialist peasant leader like Bonifacio might even confiscate their lands and distribute them to his Katipunan members


Agoncillo opines that it is true that Rizal distanced himself from the Katipunan, he denied being a member and vehemently argued that he was being used by the Katipunan without his knowledge. But the Spanish authorities and the clergy were not stupid to buy Rizal’s defensive arguments. Yes, his enemies do still believe that while Rizal may not like Bonifacio and his revolution to gain independence, it was Rizal who fed Bonifacio the idea of patriotism and ultimate goal of independence!